Tuesday, March 3, 2009


This week I procured two beautiful antique birdcages with stands, for the shop, and have been admiring their thoughtful design and graceful lines. I imagine they will be purchased by customers who will have wonderful ideas for repurposing them. The thought of someone buying an object which is already 75 years old, and using it for another 50 years, makes me happy. I don't imagine there are many products manufactured these days which will have such longevity. I can visualize one of these lovely cages transformed into a lamp, or perhaps harboring a beautiful fern, or maybe serving as a cache for love letters. Over the years I have repurposed hundreds of vintage objects, using them in unusual ways, to add both charm and organization to my shop and my home, while saving some timeworn relic from it's demise. One of the benefits of repurposing is to continue to enjoy the beauty of a well made item. Another benefit is to prevent buying a run of the mill product, which would, no doubt end up in a landfill when it's planned obsolescence allows it to fall apart. In my world, there are stacks of old leather suitcases which form an end table, while storing paperwork. I love the robins egg blue of my dozens of turn of the century Mason jars, that organize bits and pieces of craft items and office supplies. A small, circa 1915 doctors office table contains my printer and an antique basket for printer paper. A primitive pie safe houses towels in the bathroom, while another is used as a bookcase in the office. A peek into the laundry room would divulge my penchant for huge old glass jars to hold soaps and clothespins. There is no area of my little nest that hasn't been enriched by some thoughtful feathering with recycled and repurposed treasures! For the thirty years I've been in the antiques business, I have seen so many creative ideas for re-using old pieces that it's become second nature to me. I challenge you to think about some ways you can use what has already been manufactured and loved for years, before you purchase something newly made.

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